Friday, December 5, 2008

Shock and Awe

I was amazed yesterday morning when I woke up and heard that AT&T was laying off 12,000 employees. 12,000. That is, by all rational accounts, a buttload.

When I got into work, Mr. Wonderful IMed me and said he had received an email from the president of his company alerting him to an 850-person layoff. Then moments later, he wrote back saying, “I know who they’re laying off now: Me.”

My heart stopped. He had been planning to go freelance in February, but still! What a shock!

He said he had to meet with HR and I waited anxiously, chatting over the cubicle walls with my coworkers, until he returned.

What he told me upon that return, changed my shock to awe.

Mr. W works for one of the big movie studios. And he was under contract for his position, which means they have to pay him through the duration of that contract. Which means he’s receiving benefits and salary through October 2009. Rat bastard.

He can go freelance now with a huge cushion under him. Why the studio would want to do that, I have no idea. Essentially they are paying him not to work. Makes no sense whatsoever. But he is psyched about it.

My company (one of the big guys on the Internet) is laying off about 23% of its workforce next Wednesday. I’m feeling pretty secure about my position, but I’m not at all looking forward to the aftermath. In addition to losing people I care for and enjoy working with, if I am one of the ones left standing, I will inherit the workload of others who were let go. Sorry, I know—stupid reason to complain. That’s a fortunate “problem” to have. Oy, I hope the economy turns around in the New Year…

12 comments:

Semicharmed said...

That sucks for Mr. W - unfortunately, seems like everywhere you turn someone is being let go. The only good news is he is going to be paid out through 09 (freaking amazing!!). Hopefully his freelancing gig takes off & he'll be set. As for you, I'm crossing my fingers hoping all goes well next week. Like you said, whether you stay or go you'll still have to deal with the aftershocks - which sometimes, can be worse!

Wow, that was awkward said...

I love stories like Mr. W's. That just confirms/validates his decision to go freelance even more. That is some good karma.

jen tarara said...

Omg, what a sweet deal!! Italia - here you both come?... ;)

Amy Turpin said...

They had a big layoff at my work in 2001 on my birthday. I walked in and there was an uncomfortable silence with a few sniffles of those who had already been given their news mixed in. I had been planning on leaving early that day to go camping with some friends for my birthday - I was terrified to do so, but as the day wore on and I realized I was ok, I snuck out and went camping anyway. It was a very surreal day. Hope yours goes well!!

Dingo said...

So glad Mr. W's situation turned out to be a good deal in the end. It sucks when people are laid off -- both for those laid off and those who stay behind. Good luck and keep us posted.

Nilsa said...

It never surprises me when a poorly run company like AT&T has to lay off a "buttload" of people. However, I can't help but feel really bad for all the you's and me's whose lives will drastically change. Glad to hear Mr. W will make out ok despite being let go on someone else's terms.

geekhiker said...

Glad that Mr. W's situation will be okay. I had lunch yesterday with a friend who was laid off a couple of weeks ago. It's rough out there...

Alysha said...

I'm not sure if I should just say yay! or think that the state of our economy is due to people who think it makes more sense to pay someone not to work than to pay someone to work! Craziness! But I am so glad that it work out in Mr. W's favor!

Mandy's Kidding said...

I write ads for one of the Detroit Three.

*Sigh*

I cross my fingers on a daily basis. I'm considering building an altar and killing chickens too, if it'll help keep me employed...

Hannah said...

Total rat bastard. :)

What a serioulsy sweet deal. Not that it totally dosn't suck to get laid off but he does have it better than a lot of other people getting laid off these days.

Good luck to you too! I am sure everything will be fine.

The Coconut Diaries said...

I can't imagine being laid off, but it's cool that Mr. W had a plan/goal before this happened so it looks more like a window than a bank vault door.

Mermanda said...

Wow! That worked out amazingly well for him. I'm sending you good vibes for your secure job. xo